Hey…hey…hey…goodbye…Final Updates

By Manali McCarthy, Cayla Whiteside, Kathleen Knight, Lily Wherry, and Ricardo Patlan

Last week, the Resilience Team had one final meeting of the quarter with Tom Lukas and Nurit Katz to finalize the project timeline. We have secured sufficient funding for the project and are appointing Tom Lukas as the Project Manager. Tom will be meeting with the Campus Architect and Fire Marshal within the next few weeks to get final approval for the project. From there, final design will be able to be created and construction will begin.

If all goes smoothly and according to plan, we hope to have a grand cistern opening towards the end of Fall Quarter, 2017!

During the meeting, we also discussed educational outreach ideas with Nurit Katz. We are planning on having a grand opening for the cisterns and inviting art students to paint the space and make it engaging and pretty. Additionally, we are planning on creating flyers for our project and placing them around campus to draw attention to our project. We hope to coordinate with Engineering Tours or Campus Tours to have the Cistern Site added to certain tours. We are also going to work on designing the final site signage with Parking and Transportation Services.

Cayla: “These last two quarters with the Resilience Team have been awesome. The ability to have a physical impact on sustainability on campus was truly a rewarding experience. While it was challenging and mildly stressful, at times, it was worth it! It was also a ton of fun at the same time. I’m super excited to see this cistern system become a reality (hopefully by this fall!). I also really enjoyed learning about all the other sustainability initiatives on campus from the other SAR projects throughout the program. I felt more involved in the sustainability community at large, learned a lot of valuable information, and made some awesome new friends! Hope to be back next year :)”

Manali: “The past two quarters have been an absolute pleasure getting to work with such motivated and inspiring fellow students. The Resilience team had a goal from the very beginning, and we really put our all into accomplishing it. That goal has come to fruition as we developed plans and received funding for the rainwater capture system. I couldn’t be more proud to be involved in such a creative and meaningful project. This sentiment reflects SAR as a whole, and I have been so lucky to be able to be a part of the most unique program on campus. I have grown in leadership skills, responsibility, and accountability thanks to SAR and the Resilience team. This year has really pointed me in the direction that I want to go, a direction that embodies the purpose-driven goals of Sustainability Action Research. To have been able to witness the support and encouragement from working professionals gives so much validation to us as students who are pursuing a sustainable mission. I am so happy to have worked with the awesome members of my team as well as members of SAR this year. Can’t wait for what’s to come!”

Ricardo: “As a first year transfer student, I was especially concerned with finding my place on campus. I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but several spaces that gave me a sense of belonging. SAR is definitely one of those spaces, and is probably the one that I appreciate most. Working with Resilience Team and being a part of SAR these past two quarters has been so much fun, so rewarding, and the sense of community it afforded me I consider to be of tremendous value. The fact that I, along with my team members, through hard work, collaboration, and creativity will ultimately have left our mark on campus for years to come is way cool – to say the least. I think at times I have underappreciated the totality of what this means. Certainly what we have accomplished is no minor feat. Through SAR I’ve had the opportunity to work in my area of passion (sustainability) and for this I am incredibly grateful. I’ve learned so much about sustainability work and what exactly goes into developing and implementing large scale projects. At the very least I was able to extract practical skills from SAR and from my time at UCLA, which is notoriously challenging given the research oriented nature of the Institution. However, the relationships that I have developed with my team members and other SAR members are undoubtedly my favorite part about SAR. I’ve met so many impressive, kind, and dedicated individuals through this program. Thus, it was relatively easy to connect, find similarities, and make friends. I look forward to continuing these friendships, building on them, and building many more (hopefully) with new SAR members next year. Special shout out to my team members and Austin Park. Much love!”

Lily: “Before these past two quarters, I felt like I’d never figure out what I wanted to do after graduation. I knew for a while that I was passionate about environmental issues, but I never had the right outlet to express and grow these interests. SAR has provided me with so much guidance and inspiration. I have been surrounded by some of those most impressive people who have encouraged me to pursue my budding attraction to sustainability. I have had the opportunity to connect with various organizations, learn how to write a proposal and apply for grants, and now have a better understanding of just how much work a sustainability project takes! I am so proud of the work that my team and all the other teams have put forth and I hope to come back to SAR next year to continue advocating for resilience on the UCLA campus.”

Kathleen: “What an incredible adventure my time in SAR has been! As a member of the original Resilience Team (2015-2016), it has been a long process to get the water cistern project to where it is today. It seems like a million years ago that myself and Austin, Adam, George, and Will sat with Nurit at a team meeting and first proposed our idea of designing and implementing a stormwater capture system. It has been truly wonderful accomplishing what the 20215-2016 Resilience Team set out to do; our team this year has been motivated from the very start, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. Manali, Cayla, Ricardo, and Lily have been so dedicated to our project, and together we have worked to create something that will have a lasting impact at UCLA. The Green Initiative Fund has been an instrumental part of both year’s Resilience Teams. When we received $18,000 of funding last year for our project, I was so proud; this year, my heart just about exploded when our team found out that we received almost $87,000 from TGIF. I am so honored to have been a member on both Resilience Teams, and I am so excited to continue to work on the cistern project and see its implementation. Sustainability Action Research has been a highlight of my time at UCLA, and I have learned so many important instrumental skills relating to teamwork, communication, and the impact that students can have on their community.”